Thursday, 19 May 2022

A Storm in a Teacup ... or a Slippery Slope?


Why are so many people on social media in such a bad mood!!

Why are so many people posting negative and just downright rude messages to people who post on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and to a slightly lesser extent on Instagram, YouTube and here in Blogland, is there really any reason to take your own unhappiness, anger or simply bad mood out on other people to try to drag them down to your level. 

 Do people that for one reason or another put their lives out there for others to read about or watch really have to put up with people that actually have no interest in their lives firing off nasty, rude and negative comments just for commenting's sake.

Let me just clarify that I am not accusing any of my lovely regular readers of any nasty intentions or nit-picking but I am suddenly seeing, on many platforms, the reason that so many people are now being labelled as 'snowflakes' 'Karens' and much, much worse.  Oh, who would be called Karen in this day and age ... I really feel for you, a couple of my best friends at school were called Karen. 

Yesterday Thrifty Lesley was called out on Facebook for calling her page 'Thrifty Lesley - For Fabulously Frugal Food' and told that she was part of the problem.  That frugal food wasn't fabulous and she should be out there rallying, writing to her MP or indeed standing for parliament herself not posting recipes that help people make the best out of what they have.

What the actual F*CK !!

Madeleine Olivia was jumped on last week by numerous people for daring to share a recipe for Chickpea Tuna on her TikTok and told how disgustingly awful it and all vegan food was, while over on Instagram ... which is still usually a lot more civilised ... she had nothing but praise and 'yumms' etc.

  When did we stop following our Grannies advice and just keeping our mouths shut and our fingers off the keyboard if we had nothing nice or at the very least constructive to say?

So what's your opinion on this, is it just a storm in a teacup or a more worrying downward trend in a lack of compassion, manners and common decency?

Sue xx

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Taking to the Water


We are both finding it so hard to get back into the swing of day to day life.  A mixture of feeling pretty yuk and not being able to go out much means that all routines are completely out of the window.  So what do you do when you just cannot get out of 'holiday mode' ... why you book another holiday of course  😀😄

We have just had ten days in the Spanish sunshine, we have a five day Warner Leisure Hotel holiday booked for September, so what could I choose that is completely different to fill a gap in the middle?

I'm sure you can guess by the photo at the top of this post that I chose a narrow boat holiday, and one that is extremely close to home.  There is definite method to my madness as Alan is currently still debating about whether he wants to buy a narrow boat to renovate as a bit of a hobby and it seemed a good idea to 'try before we buy' and combining this with a luxury no-lock, cruising the cut, mini holiday seemed an even better idea.

We had to go for one of the larger of the four boats on offer by the Duck Island Boat Company which is a small company close to home in the local marina, as they are the only ones that you can take your four legged friends onboard with you ... but this should be no hardship at all.  With the potential for a bedroom and a bathroom each we can spread out to our hearts content in the 56ft long boat.  Of course booking so last minute meant that we had to take the dates that were available, which luckily fell just right for us.  It's going to be a total luxury sort of narrowboat holiday, something that we really do need to keep in mind if Alan is buying an old boat to do up.  I doubt his will have proper flushing toilets and two en-suites!!

So we have something exciting to look forward to in July ... now what on earth can we do in June?

Sue xx

Oh, and if anyone would like 15% off a White Stuff order I have a link you can use.

Monday, 16 May 2022

Back Home with a Tan, a Crash and a Ping

We're back home after a wonderful ten days in Alcudia, Majorca.  

With lots of sunshine, good food and a child-free hotel it meant that there was plenty of relaxation, some drinking and lots of rest ... just what we both needed.  I managed to read my way through four books, yes FOUR books in 10 days, a record even for me.  Two fiction paperbacks that I left behind to make our luggage even lighter coming home, and two on my phone which picks up all the books on my Kindle account.  In fact I sold my actual Kindle years ago when I found I just wasn't using it.

We both travel really light and had just one suitcase between us that weighed less than 15kg, even though we were allowed up to 32kg in one case if we needed it.  Alan also had a small backpack just containing our lightweight jackets and our holiday paperwork and I had a handbag.  We were amazed at the amount some people turned up with, all adding to the chaos at Manchester Airport.

We didn't stray very far from the hotel at all, we just had a couple of short walks and sits on the beach watching the day cool down, and just a few hours one day in Port Alcudia people watching from a pavement café, and watching all the preparations for the Iron Man Competition that was taking place on the Saturday.  We actually got to see the runners going past our hotel in the 27 degree heat on the day of the competition ... madness!!

We both topped up our tans, Alan more so than me as he is a real sun worshipper and he also had a few  dips in the hotel pool, although judging by his gasps the water was cool enough to put a lot of folk off going in at all.  But over the course of the week as the temperatures rose more and more people started risking a dip and swimming a few lengths.

We got home to find all the animals very happy, the house left super clean and tidy by our house-sitter ... and the potato plants now looking a lot more impressive in their Bags for Life just in front of the shed.  Time to top them up with some more compost I think.

There had been a crash landing at some point during the week, as once again Ginger had used the top of the cold frame to jump down off the fence onto.  I think it is beyond repair this time so I will have to have a reconsider for next year.

Somehow all the plants have survived, no doubt due to the cooler weather and rain that Kathleen our house-sitter said she had virtually all week.

The Courgette and Cucumber plants are also looking good.

As are the Tomato Plants that still live on my windowsill in the living room.

The past couple of days we have been making good use of the sunshine and breeze to get all our holiday washing done, well we have had to find things to do at home as just two days after we got  home than we were both pinged by the NHS Covid App.  So following the updated instructions we are still in isolation for the next few days.

So it's working from home for both of us ... and early morning doggy walks up the deserted canal.

Sue xx

Friday, 13 May 2022

The Green ... I Love the Green


Torn between two worlds!!

I love this photo of my kitchen when it had almost been completed, the empty spaces, the clean lines, the promise of what could be.

I also love the homeliness of my clutter.

The basics out ready to be used, the books ready to be pored over and inspiration picked up and be acted upon.  The day to day life that this scene shows I live.

And the green ... I love the green.

Sue xx 💚

Thursday, 12 May 2022

I Travel Light


I've packed up

I'm headed home

I travel light ... except for books  


Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Discard All the Rest


I'm still on my decluttering journey

Will I ever arrive at the destination

I really don't know

But I hope so.


Monday, 9 May 2022

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Friday, 6 May 2022

By the Window


I love to pore over a painting or image with lots of detail.  

I can't find out who painted this one and in the course of looking came across this one by Salvador Dali -

... which draws you in in a completely different way and is very thought provoking.

Aren't we lucky in this age of computers that we can pull up such lovely images to get us thinking.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Age is Irrelevant

So many

So many

So many

Only one

So many

So many

But I'm not very old  😊

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

The Best Weight ...


Isn't this just so true, and yet so hard to take on board for so long.  

I think it's something that comes with age for most of us.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

AWOL and then AWOL all over again.


Sorry I've been AWOL for far too long 😦  

There were lots of reasons but nothing for you to worry about.  The thing is I'm about to go missing again for 10 days, jetting off to warmer climes and leaving our homes and the furries in the capable hands of some very good house-sitters.  They come with their own little furry friend called Oscar so Suky and Mavis will have a little boy Lhasa Apso to fall in love with.  Although Ginger was not so enamoured on his first meeting with a dog that is not used to cats, and one that thinks that the way to get a cat to play with you is to wag your tail like crazy and bark at them.  No doubt and hopefully,  a compromise or truce will be called at the next meeting later on today.

The photo above was taken on an afternoon out to Morecambe last week, just look at that perfect sky!  I used no filters, that's just as it was and snapped quickly with my phone while Alan and the dogs walked along the beach and I followed along higher up on the prom.   

Morecambe is just a thirty minute drive from us and it is always much quieter and nicer than Blackpool.  It used to look so rundown but slowly and surely it is turning itself around and people are starting to really enjoy it again.  I think this is partly due to the fact that the Eden Project North has now been given the go-ahead and savvy businesses are getting in on the act before rents for shop and business premises go through the roof after it's arrival.  It should be brilliant for tourism and the people of Morecambe ... and of course us.  😀

We enjoyed the walk, the fresh air and then a coffee and flapjack in a bustling little café before heading for home and a snooze over snooker for Alan and some reading for me.

I will be back soon I promise, just as soon as I get my shit head together and hopefully have enjoyed my break.  I'll leave you with some memes while I'm away just to entertain ... or annoy ... you.

Sue xx  😎

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Large Jugs ... and Clever Posties


I knew that I loved the large brown jug the minute I saw it on the shelf in the gift shop, of course it was a very necessary purchase as my huge bunch of flowers had nowhere to live.  As I was sat watching television last night my eye was drawn to my little painting above the radiator shelf and then I realised why this particular brown jug had caught my eye and my imagination.

The painting of The Milkmaid by Vermeer has the girl pouring from a very similar jug.  So it seemed only right as I took my cards down this morning and had a bit of a dust-athon that I put the jug and it's contents into a new position and the flowers that Alan bought me onto the sideboard where they co-ordinated perfectly with the pictures behind.

It was my Uncles funeral in Stockport yesterday and the day went really well.  It was nice to meet up with family again even though it was sad to be saying a last farewell to a lovely man who was but two days away from his 95th birthday.  

Mum handed over a couple of cards that hadn't been posted and then my Aunty asked if I had received her card to me.  I hadn't, but then I really hadn't expected her to send me one with everything that she has been going through over the last few weeks.  She had sent it to my old address at the other side of town and the redirection that I did have in place ran out at the end of March.  

We promised we would call to the flat on the way home to see if it was there, but when we got there no-one was in, I even checked in the paper recycling bin outside but no luck.  Then we got home there it was through my new letterbox!!  Bearing the postman's writing saying 'now at no. 4'.  There are definite perks to living in a small town where the postman sort the mail and get to know everyone on a more personal level.  They had remembered where I had moved to after the flat and forwarded it on themselves.

Brilliant service and it really made my day.

Sue xx


Wednesday, 20 April 2022

The Best Birthday


Yesterday was the best birthday for a long time, and the best bits just kept on coming and coming.  Phone calls, texts, Facebook messages and cards from family and friends, flowers arriving that were just so beautiful and to top it all off a wonderful afternoon tea booked by Alan at The Barn in Scorton.

I don't know what Alan was saying here, but it could well have been 'Oooh look at all the goodies!'

There was just so much food that we and lots of other folk took home doggy bags of the food that we  couldn't manage to eat.  This is just my leftovers, Alan had put his in his fridge by the time I took this photo.

After we had eaten all we could and packed up what we couldn't, we went around the gift shop part of The Barn and Alan bought me this lovely large jug.  It was needed to hold the huge bunch of flowers bought for me by Simon and Emma.

Later I had some of my leftover afternoon tea for supper while watching Pretty Woman on the television.

And I have saved these two half-price Easter eggs picked up from Sainsbugs on the way home for another day.  You just knew I wouldn't go without a chocolate egg at Easter now didn't you.  😉 

Thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes yesterday, you helped to make it The Best Birthday.

Sue xx

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

A Special Day ... and a Secret Spills Out


It's my birthday, and I'm happy to say that I am 62 years old today.  

Some don't have the good fortune of making it this far and those that do should shout it from the roof tops.  True this has not been a good year for me.  I've literally spent the whole year since the last time a year was crossed off my calendar of life, trying to get over the broken bones and trapped nerves in my back, but I made it through to see another birthday and for that I am truly grateful.

The day started well, Alan had ordered sunshine and warmth and it was lovely to sit on the patio with him and the furries opening my cards and enjoying my flowers and the first coffee of the day.

Yes we were all out enjoying the sunshine.  

Mavis looks a little bit like she's been plonked down, but that is the way she sits when she's waiting for something.  This time she was waiting for a walk, which she got twenty minutes after these photos were taken.  She and Alan set off walking and after ten minutes arranging my flowers in a jug, me and Suky jumped into the car and drove to meet them at the park.  Where we all enjoyed 'bench hopping' ... moving from bench to bench with a slow walk between each ... enjoying the scent of the blossom in the air and the bird song in the quiet park.  Then we all got into the car for the three minute drive home, which Mavis thought was a perfect way to get home quicker than usual for the post-walk dog treat.

And a birthday surprise from me  to you.

 I shared this photo on my Facebook page so the secret is out anyway.  Yes we really are Lord and Lady Hall, each in our own right and not just through marriage.  There ... and you thought you knew almost everything about me.  😄

Edited to add these ... birthday flowers that have just been delivered from Simon, Emma and my grandsons.

Sue xx

Monday, 18 April 2022

No Chocolate Eggs, Just Leeks and Potatoes

I dropped enough hints about Easter eggs ... I know they are silly and stupidly less value for money than a bar of chocolate but there's something about biting into that egg shaped half shell of chocolate that is Easter for me ... but I got none.  

So I spent some time in the kitchen with potatoes, leeks and pastry instead.  Not even slightly the same but it stopped me sulking too much 😄

I had all the ingredients in the kitchen and this recipe was chosen as I really had to use up a very sad leek that had been lurking in the fridge drawer for far too long.

Sautéed slowly to develop flavour, I left the potatoes and leek to their own devices while I read some more of the cook book.

Then I lined my little 1lb loaf tin with a double layer of clingfilm.

Once the potatoes were soft I added the last of some dairy free mozzarella style cheese that needed using, it's not actually in the recipe but I thought ... why not!!

And then topped it off with a sprinkle of cheddar style cheese which is in the recipe.

Following the instructions I then compressed it all into the tin and popped it into the fridge for an hour.

Once out I covered it in a third of the sheet of ready rolled pastry,  scored the top, brushed it with some almond milk and put it into the oven for 30 minutes.

Oh yes .... it turned out beautifully.

I had half for my lunch straight from the oven with some Bisto gravy and peas, and then ate the other half the next day warmed through in the Remoska, served with a large dollop of mayo and a sliced up tomato.

It was delicious, the only thing I forgot to do was to smush the potatoes a bit, I remembered that I did do that last time, just sort of half mashed them and it made it a bit better.

The recipe is from this book by Miguel Barclay.  I have all seven of his books and although some of the books are quite similar I do like to browse through them for simple and affordable meal ideas pretty regularly.

Sue xx

Thursday, 14 April 2022

Of Gingerbread Houses and Books


There's a lot of clever folk that I've been reading about on the frugal Facebook groups and blogs that stocked up their freezers after Christmas with yellow stickered things to save them for Easter this year.  Legs of lamb, beef joints, turkey things ... lots of dead animals I know ... but nevertheless if that's what you eat and you're on a budget and you know you would be buying it further down the line why not take advantage of bargains when you can and free up money for other things later in the year.

I had no idea that my son had saved the Gingerbread House kit that we bought him and Tash as part of their little Christmas gift bag.  Perhaps not specifically 'saved' it but they are both busy people so perhaps they were just waiting for the time to actually assemble it.

The other day these two photos pinged into my DMs, with a 'Remember this?' question.

Not bad for a five year old ... sorry I meant thirty five year old 😁

Only kidding Jason your Gingerbread House is perfect and I bet it was still very tasty.

Talking of messages, I also got one reminding me that I had not put a close up of the latest sideboard colour co-ordinated book stack for Sue ... seemingly then it's not just Sue who likes to have a peruse!!

  Your wish is my command, here they are in full glorious close up.

Sue xx